Welcome to this second module, where we examine the key issue of your level of self awareness, why it is so important to job hunting and how to significantly improve it

Tackle the module in bite size chunks, don’t feel the need to do everything in one go and allow plenty of time to digest and apply the information covered

The module includes helpful ‘Activities’ for you to complete, it is strongly recommended that you give yourself plenty of time to undertake them, get the most out of the content and digest the key learning points

Allow yourself time to reflect and take on board the advice, key messages and suggested tasks contained in the module to enable you to move your job campaign forward

This module will enable you to

  • Understand and manage change and transition effectively

  • Spot and overcome any self-limiting beliefs you may have

  • Describe and appreciate the importance of your values

  • Appreciate how we learn and its impact on our self-awareness

  • Identify your skills and strengths and recognise their worth

 

  • Prepare compelling achievements that catch the reader’s eye

  • Consider your career direction and the potential options available

A new jobs is a big change - especially if you had the last one for a while  

Change is the external event, transition is our internal response to it

Change is what happens to you, transition is what you then experience

Transition is a personal and unique journey, involving up to seven stages

Sometimes, our mind just can’t take in a piece of information initially and needs time to accept and digest it 

Even when you are expecting a piece of news, you can still feel surprise and anxiety when it is definitely confirmed

Emotional reactions can be both positive and negative, can be experienced many times and can reappear when you are least expecting them

Treating every experience as a learning opportunity enables you to constantly improve, it also enables you to recognise that unpleasant experiences are only bad ones if you don’t learn from them

Coming to terms with the situation will enable you to start to take control and move forward

You start thinking about and planning what needs to be done

You feel motivated and energised to start making things happen

The seven stages are not chronological, you can jump around over time

 

 

It’s OK to be at any stage, it’s not OK to get stuck in the 'blue' stages

Share your feeling with the people you trust, don’t bottle things up

Self-limiting beliefs

  • Are the negative tapes that play at the backs of our minds

 

  • Develop from childhood onwards, they’re learnt not innate

  • Strongly influence how we think, speak, act and behave

  • Often originally had a useful purpose, for example, to protect us

 

  • e.g. 'I mustn’t speak out' previously helped us to avoid feeling embarrassed

 

 

  • But the negative impact now outweighs the protective value of the belief

 

  • Are unique to each of us, but some of the more common ones are

We can replace our self-limiting beliefs with self-liberating beliefs

Below is an example of how a self-limiting belief can be replaced

Replacing self-limiting beliefs with self-liberating beliefs takes practice and determination, but is incredibly emancipating if you can

Practice the new belief in small matters to see how it goes

Use a physical object (e.g. pocket coin) to remind you of the new belief

Your values are

  • The basic beliefs that guide your words, thoughts and behaviours

  • What is important to you, one way you judge yourself and others

Values are important because, like oxygen

  • They’re vital to well being, yet you don’t consciously think of them

  • You only realise their importance when they’re restricted or stifled

Knowing your values is crucial so that

  • When job searching, you can recognise the organisations you like

  • When 'buying' a new job, you can assess how your values might fit

When matching values remember

  • Organisational values rarely perfectly match yours

  • Don’t look for a perfect fit, 'good enough' is good enough

We are not born competent to do a job, we learn competencies

We 'unconsciously' use our skills and abilities - on 'auto pilot'

 

 

We need to take a step back to identify and articulate our abilities

 

 

By being 'consciously' competent not 'unconsciously' competent

 

 

We can then identify, articulate and 'sell' our abilities confidently

 

 

Doing so feels awkward, it isn’t what we usually do while in a job

 

 

Essentially, the way we learn can be described as follows

Recognising, identifying, and valuing your employable skills is vital

 

 

Below is a small selection of some of the skills employers often seek

Recognising, identifying, and valuing your employable strengths is critical

Below is a small selection of some of the strengths employers often seek

How many skills and how many strengths did you identify in total?


How many skills and strengths could you have  identified without the lists?


The reason why it can be more difficult to do it ‘from a blank sheet’ of paper is that you are currently unconsciously competent - on automatic pilot - as we saw when we looked at how people learn


Which is why you need to take a step back and become consciously competent


All of the words in these and any other lists are there for you to use to start building a clear picture of what you have to offer

Probably a lot more than you thought you would!

Probably a lot fewer!

When painting a visual picture of your skills and strengths 

 

 

You may wish to attach a describing or qualifying word first to describe them

There are many different ones you can use, provided you are comfortable with them

The following are a small sample, that you are very welcome to use as appropriate

Action words are important 'doing' words in describing your achievements

Below is a small selection of some of the more useful action words you could use

Recognising achievements raises your self-awareness and self-esteem

Articulating achievements differentiates you from other job hunters

They are about providing strong evidence that differentiates you from competitors 

 

 

Strong achievements answer three questions clearly and concisely

 

 

So what was the achievement?

  • Ensuring that the reader really understands, recognises and values it

  • Is the result meaningful and does it resonate with the reader? 

  • Is the value and the relevance of the challenge clear?

So what benefit(s) resulted?

  • Confirming the key quantity and/or quality measures of success

  • Example quantity measures include - time, money, efficiency, risk etc

  • Example quality measures include - quality, brand, reputation, feedback etc

  • Will the result be relevant and significant to the target reader

So what does it say about you?

  • Demonstrating the skills and/or strengths that made it happen

  • Does it explain why they are paying you to do it in the first place?

  • Do the actions provide a clear visual picture of you in action?

'Don’t get it right, get it written' - focus on capturing the key 'so what' info

You may find it easier to start off with your most recent achievements

You may find it useful to print off the 'Word Bank' by CLICKING HERE

Having brainstormed the ‘raw material’ of your achievements, they now need honing into strong, concise, attention grabbing bullet points

This is an iterative process, you won’t get where to you want to be first time, it usually takes several goes to get them right

Once drafted, it can be very useful to share your achievements with one or more others to get their feedback and suggestions

Some example achievements that might help you with drafting your achievements are provided below

Where safely possible, once you have honed the achievements, share them with others to seek feedback on how to improve them further

Feel free to use any words or phrases in the achievements that are useful to you 

  • Project managed a £1.5m office refurbishment meeting all time, budget and quality targets using strong leadership and consultative abilities

  • Used excellent networking and communication skills to identify and win new customers resulting in £1.3m p.a. additional gross sales

  • Won numerous multi million pound contracts including MOD, NHS and Lloyds using effective analytical and negotiation skills with determination

  • Generated excellent customer feedback managing 11 high volume catering venues and 150 staff by being motivational, energetic and fair

  • Consistently met high volume parcel van delivery targets with good customer feedback by being highly organised, accurate, diligent and friendly

  • Regularly received excellent manager and customer feedback for front desk reception cover by always being efficient and professional

  • Designed and presented a new, more informative, Excel spreadsheet at monthly meetings that measurably improved reporting and shortened meeting length

  • Negotiated and implemented a new defined benefits staff pension scheme with two unions resulting in a 9% p.a. business cost reduction

We rarely spend time thinking about where our careers are heading

Particularly where the circumstances involve redundancy or other job termination 

When we do think about our careers, we tend to focus on short term issues

We rarely, if ever, look at the longer term picture of our work and career 

If you want to change job sector, job type, or both, one way to proceed is to

  • Focus on jobs and sectors where your ‘evolving' and ‘star' skills are wanted

  • Avoid roles that would require lots of your ‘unwanted' and ‘fading' skills

  • The diagram below shows what we mean by these terms

Evolving

Skills

Unwanted

Skills

Star

Skills

Fading

Skills

You have a lot to learn, but really enjoy using them

You are very good at them and really enjoy using them

You don’t enjoy them and you’re not very good at them either

You are very good at them, but you don’t enjoy using them

The number of ways of engaging with the working world has grown

Each offers a different psychological contract - none are right or wrong

This module has provided

  • A framework to confidently manage change and transition

  • A route to overcome any self-limiting beliefs you may have

  • An opportunity to assess your values and their significance

  • An overview of the relationship between learning and self-awareness

  • The ability to identify and express your skills, strengths and achievements

  • An opportunity to consider your career direction and potential options

Well done on completing module two

Raising and maintaining your self-awareness is not an easy thing to do, but it is the bedrock of successful job hunting and will pay dividends during your job search campaign

The next module will enable you to produce one of your most important job hunting documents, your CV, to maximise the number of job opportunities, interviews and meetings to get to those all important job offers that are out there

Go to the next module by CLICKING HERE

Go back to the Job Hunting main menu by CLICKING HERE 

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